Recently, a colleague and I were discussing our experiences with tire replacement. He owns a Honda Odyssey with run-flat tires, which allow 50-100 miles of driving after the occurrence of a flat tire. As part of routine maintenance, he was replacing the tires. To his surprise, he learned that the replacement tires would cost about 100% more (about $600 more for four tires) than normal tires. In addition, the tires were special order and needed special skills to be installed.
We discussed the merits and "problems" of run-flat tires:
- Drive 50-100 miles after a loss of air.
- No need to change tire, especially on busy road.
- Limited service facilities that can repair or replace the tires.
- High cost to replace.
- Tires may not be in stock and need to be ordered
- No spare if one needs to drive over 100 miles.
We concluded that run flat tires were expensive "insurance" for a low frequency problem. For me, my last flat tire was about 20 years ago. In addition, there are many reasonable and less expensive alternatives. Cell phones are ubiquitous now and can be used to call AAA or a service station. For a slow leak, one can pump up the tire and drive it to the nearest service station. In the worst case, I can use the car jack, get my hands dirty and change the tire myself:-)
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Photo Credit: morgueFile.com, Alex
This is not financial or automotive advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
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